There’s a lot to be afraid of in life. Mine has been dominated by the fear of suffocating to death.
Compared to that, verbal insults, the headmaster’s cane, my father’s screaming, army camp, police on horses, Harvard University, the doorman at Fortnum’s, bad reviews, Russian gunmen, Georgian gunmen, and threats by lawyers amount to less. When they strike, they generate an equal or greater mass of energy to fight back. But when suffocation comes on, all I am able to do is to gasp for air, and prepare for the worst.
The problem with the fear of suffocating is that it leads to three other fears – the fear of dentists working in my mouth; the fear of being gagged by robbers; and the fear of laughing.
When China was an empire in 1792, the emperor Ch’ieng Lung told the British ambassador to take his gifts and bribes back to London, along with this message for the British king: “we have never valued ingenious articles, nor do we have the slightest need of your country’s manufactures. You, O King, ought, looking upwards, to carry out our wishes, and for ever obey our edict, so that we both enjoy the blessings of peace…Do not say you have not been forewarned.”
When Russia was an empire in 1773, the empress Catherine the Great was persuaded by bribes to purchase from Wedgwood & Bentley, the Staffordshire porcelain manufacturer, the largest order of dinner and table plates in the history of British pottery. After haggling over the price for the 944 pieces, the tsarina paid Wedgwood’s invoice at today’s equivalent of £4 million – the largest price ever charged and paid for such things until that time. Wedgwood lost money on the deal, though. That was because the bribery and costs of production and delivery turned out to be greater than Catherine’s payment. The way the bribes worked, Wedgwood told the British ambassador in St Petersburg and his wife to make gifts of expensive samples he had sent them, keeping some for themselves as commission. The ambassador’s wife wrote back: “Her Imperial Majesty has kept all the Vases and the Dejeuné [sic — luncheon plates] you sent me, as samples, and they were very much liked.”
There are political lessons in this – especially if you read them while eating your dinner off a paper plate or out of a cardboard box.
It has not been proved that an unlimited number monkeys in a room with typewriters to match and an infinite amount of time would type the complete works of Shakespeare, or even one of the Bard’s lines.
But the improbability of the infinite monkey theorem is nothing compared to the certainty which the British government, its judiciary, the Metropolitan police, and the combined forces of the London Bar proved on Wednesday in a room of the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand. They proved that a troop of humans are making a monkey out of every principle of British justice and the criminal law — in order to advance the government’s war against Russia.
On September 22, Dame Heather Hallett, the coroner in the inquest into the cause of death of Dawn Sturgess on July 8, 2018, officially ordered the prosecution of a crime without a defence; in a trial in which the verdict has already been declared by the judge herself and the prosecutors; in which the surviving victims of the alleged crime, Sergei and Yulia Skripal, are not allowed to testify and forbidden to appear in public at all; when the three Russians accused of the crime are not permitted to be represented in the proceeding; in which there will be no jury; and in which the evidence of the crime, the weapon, the intention and motive of the perpetrators will be presented in secret so that there can be no testing for truth, fabrication, or lie.
Following last week’s meeting in Washington of Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne (lead image left), the Australian defence minister and their US counterparts, a strategic military and basing agreement was announced between Australia, the UK and US (AUKUS). This is being reinforced with summit meetings in Washington this week.
The declared target of their war-making preparations is China.
Australian strategy against Russia in the Pacific region follows in lockstep with the US. But for the time being the Russian enemy, and Russian submarine and surface fleet operations in the Indo-Pacific region, are not being discussed by Australian officials in public; at least not to the extent when President Vladimir Putin last visited Australia in November 2014 with a nuclear-powered, nuclear armed naval escort.
Ahead of schemes for strategic warmaking in the Pacific, the US, the UK and Australia are also engaged in proxy war operations. These have accelerated recently in Myanmar, where Russia and China are allied in support of the military government of General Min Aung Hlaing. Next, from both sides, state bribery, subversion, putsch-making, and other special operations are likely to accelerate in the Pacific islands from Fiji to Papua-New Guinea.
For the moment, the initial reaction to AUKUS from the Russian Foreign Ministry has been as close to uncritical as the ministry can be. “We noted the plans, announced by Australia,” said spokesman Maria Zakharova last Thursday, “to build nuclear-powered submarines as part of an ‘enhanced trilateral security partnership’ agreed yesterday by the United States, Great Britain and Australia. We proceed from the premise that being a non-nuclear power and fulfilling in good faith the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, Australia will honour its commitments under this document, as well as the IAEA Safeguards Agreements along with its Additional Protocol. We hope that Canberra ensures the necessary level of cooperation with the IAEA in order to rule out any proliferation-related risks.”
The first detailed technical and strategic assessment of the AUKUS scheme has followed this week in Vzglyad, the leading strategy publication reflecting the Russian General Staff and GRU assessments. A translation from the Russian article by Alexander Timokhin follows.
Robots can be easily programmed to correct their mistakes; robot voters can be programmed to re-vote. But robots are missing the intelligence to cover up their tracks.
In the twenty-four hours since the Russian polls closed on Sunday at 8, the robot voters of Russia have exposed themselves to one of the most thorough analyses of their lack of intelligence ever produced by the mainstream Russian media, Russian election technologists and think tanks, and the Russian social media. Indeed, so swift and thorough have they been that protests of election-rigging from the Communist Party, the Navalny group and the State Department have proved superfluous. The silent majority of Russian voters had anticipated the outcome – they have already recorded their response.
(Something similar has happened at the University-Rosedale riding of Toronto. In Monday’s Canadian parliamentary election, voters delivered a similar message of silent rebuke to Chrystia Freeland, chief Russia hater and Ukrainian candidate for prime minister of Canada.)
By John Helmer, Moscow, and Liane Theuerkauf, Munich @bears_with
The leading hospital doctors on Novichok poisoning in Britain and Germany are not allowed by their governments to reveal publicly the medical information they have exchanged with each other.
James Haslam, the chief doctor at Salisbury District Hospital treating Sergei Skripal and Yulia Skripal for Novichok poisoning in March 2018, and Elspeth Hulse, an anaesthetist at Newcastle upon Tyne hospital and co-author with Haslam of a medical research paper on the Skripal case, refused this week to say if they participated with German doctors in the treatment of Alexei Navalny for Novichok poisoning at Charité Hospital in Berlin in August 2020.
According to Hulse, she has been ordered to keep silent by the British Ministry of Defence. Asked what communications and consultations on their expertise in the Skripal case they exchanged with the Berlin doctors treating Navalny, Hulse replied: “I have been advised that you should in the first instance go though [sic] the UK MOD press office. Press Office 020 7218 7907 I hope that this helps.”
Haslam also refused to answer if he had communicated with Navalny’s doctors in Berlin, or when.
Cara Charles-Barks, chief executive of the Salisbury hospital, refused this week to say what collaboration there has been between Salisbury and the Charité — the only two hospitals in the world to claim to have successfully treated cases of Novichok poisoning.
However, the British and Germans did collaborate in secret. Last week Philipp Jacoby, the German doctor directing the medical evacuation of Navalny from Omsk Hospital in Russia to Charité in Berlin in August last year, revealed that when he brought Navalny to Charité, there was “a welcome committee (Empfangskomitee) of about 30 people present.” He added he didn’t know who they were except that they were an “international” group.
The lead German doctors treating Navalny, Kai-Uwe Eckardt and David Leindl, published last December a detailed clinical case report on the Navalny case; they reported the psychotropic drugs, lithium and benzodiazepines, in his blood and urine on arrival; his biochemical test scores for each of the days he was in hospital; and their course of treatment with atropine and blood plasma. Jacoby is one of their co-authors. This week Eckardt and Leindl were asked “to confirm the contacts and communications you had with British doctors of Salisbury District Hospital on the August 22 day of [Navalny’s] admission and subsequently?” They refuse to reply.
Since Jacoby’s fresh disclosure of the “welcome committee”, the record of what the British and German doctors did, and when they did it, is evidence of how the two governments planned the public disclosure of the two Novichok attacks and the Anglo-German allegation that the Russian government was behind both of them.
A leading British specialist on organophosphate poisoning commented: “Here is an irony. Jacoby and the Charité hospital group published in The Lancet every minute detail about Navalny’s diagnostics. Now Dr.Hulse defers to the Ministry of Defence. What is the secret they are concealing — that the British treatment of the Skripals for Novichok exposure was different from the German treatment of Navalny? Or is the secret that there was no Novichok in either case?”
By John Helmer, Moscowand Liane Theuerkauf, Munich @bears_with
Philipp Jacoby, the only German doctor treating Alexei Navalny for alleged poisoning to have testified publicly, has given a new press interview to alter the interpretation of the evidence he gave last week. “People close to Navalny”, he now says, “warned me about John Helmer”.
telephone interviews on September 6, Jacoby revealed that the
planning of his medical evacuation flight to Russia began in Shannon,
Ireland, on August 19, 2020, the day before Navalny fell ill on a
flight between Tomsk and Moscow on the morning of August 20, 2020.
also testified that Maria Pevchikh, one of Navalny’s staff, had
been the first to mention Novichok when they were talking together at
the intensive care unit of Omsk Emergency Hospital Number 1, where
Navalny was being treated, after his flight had been diverted for an
emergency landing at Omsk. Later, Jacoby added, Pevchikh and Yulia
Navalnaya, Navalny’s wife, had asked him — and he had agreed with
them — to conceal their backpack containing water bottles from
Navalny’s hotel room in Tomsk on to the German medevac aircraft,
making it appear to be his own luggage and thereby avoid Russian
detection at Omsk airport.
In a fresh interview for almost ninety minutes on Thursday evening, September 9, conducted in German, Jacoby did not claim his earlier interviews had been misquoted or misinterpreted. Instead, he revealed how close he has been to Navalnaya, corresponding by email with her after Navalny arrived in Germany for treatment.
also issued the first personal attack by a German doctor or German
government official on the medical expertise and truthfulness of the
Russian doctors treating Navalny at Omsk. “The doctors in Omsk told
us a cock and bull story [die
Ärzte in Omsk haben mir einen Bären aufgebunden],”
Jacoby now says, claiming they
didn’t tell him the full truth. He adds that handwritten
records of Navalny’s clinical tests he was shown by the Omsk hospital
doctors “were unprofessional and could easily have been faked.”
Jacoby did not acknowledge the papers he was shown were handwritten
in English because the Omsk Hospital doctors believed Jacoby could
not understand computer printouts in Russian.
On the evidence of the German clinical test records, published last December by Jacoby with thirteen of the treating doctors at the Charité hospital in Berlin, Jacoby confirms that lithium and several benzodiazepine drugs were found in Navalny’s blood and urine. In his first interview, Jacoby said he “had no idea where the lithium or benzodiazepines came from. Maybe he took it on a daily basis.”
In his new interview Jacoby said “either he took it regularly himself or the doctors in Omsk gave it to him to distract from the poisoning.”
Faster than a speeding bullet — more powerful than a locomotive — able to leap tall lies at a single bound.
More farsighted than Clark Kent (alias Superman), greener than Hal Jordan (Green Lantern), more tenacious than Peter Parker (Spiderman), as sworn to vengeance against lawlessness as Bruce Wayne (Batman).
That’s the first true to life comic book coated in LAUGHTER, the only antidote that’s certain to neutralize Novichok if it gets into your underpants or a BUK rocket if it’s fired at your airplane.
Small peoples deal with their inferiority complex towards larger, more powerful peoples in special ways.
The Greeks remember their ancient victories over the Trojans and Persians, and more recently their defeat of the Italians at the start of World War II. The Galicians of Ukraine remember their killing of Jews, Poles and Russians, and theft of their property under the protection of the German Wehrmacht. The Canadian Ukrainians compensate for their inferiority the same way.
Australians have their special, lawless ways of doing things, usually under British naval protection or US air cover. For fighting the war in Afghanistan, the Australian Army cut children’s throats and encouraged a culture of war crimes among its special forces. This was documented by soldier whistleblowers and an official Army investigation. Then the Taliban, victor of the war, charged the Australians had “committed some of the worst and the brutal kind of human rights violations, by hacking fingers off dead bodies and killing farmers in Uruzgan and other provinces they were based. They should be prosecuted as per the law, humanitarian law.” Fat chance — said the Australian Foreign Minister, declaring the accusation was “repugnant”. She didn’t mean to say it was untrue, but she aimed to ignore it. Australia would keep fighting the Taliban, she also meant — if they could.
But the reality of being such a small country the Chinese have termed Australia the chewing gum on their shoe, is that the Australians decided they had better flee Kabul before the US Army retreat began. The troops have brought their lawlessness home.
This is being demonstrated in the domestic war against COVID-19. To direct the Australian forces in the officially code-named OPERATION COVID SHIELD, an army lieutenant-general named John Frewen and a navy commodore called Eric Young are in charge.
Frewen’s war-fighting promotion was earned defeating a tribal rebellion by 100 men on the Solomon Islands. He then became the head of one of Australia’s spy agencies. Young’s combat experience at sea has been defeating unarmed refugee boats arriving from Indonesia. He was then promoted to command of an entity called United States Force Posture Initiatives – that’s the Australia-based command of US forces targeting China.
In no country in the world have soldiers been put in command of emergency powers administration like this – except juntas of fascist states.
By John Helmer, Moscow, and Liane Theuerkauf, Munich @bears_with
The planning to fly Alexei Navalny (lead image) from Russia to Germany, and there to accuse the Kremlin of trying to kill him with Novichok, started before Navalny himself knew he was ill.
The new evidence comes from records of the German medical evacuation team based in Nuremberg. This five-man team — two pilots, two paramedic nurses, one physician specialist in emergency medicine — flew from Nuremberg to Omsk; collected Navalny, and with his wife Yulia Navalnaya and assistant Maria Pevchikh, flew to Berlin, where Navalny was revived.
But the evidence reveals their mission began with orders to the aircraft and to the team members when they were at Shannon airport, western Ireland, on the morning of August 20, 2020; those orders were first issued the day before, on August 19. That’s the day before Navalny collapsed on a flight between Tomsk and Moscow, and then following the emergency diversion of the aircraft to Omsk, before he was taken to Omsk Emergency Hospital Number 1.
The German evidence, newly obtained this week, also discloses that the first allegation that Navalny had been poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent came from Pevchikh. She told the German medevac doctor and paramedics when they were with Navalny in the intensive care unit at the Omsk hospital where Navalny was being treated. “She spoke English perfectly”, Dr Philipp Jacoby remembers.
The evidence of the poisoning was in several water bottles Pevchikh had taken from Navalny’s hotel room in Tomsk, and brought to Omsk after recording a film of herself and others from Navalny’s staff collecting them from the hotel room. These bottles Navalnaya and Pevchikh asked the German doctor to take through the Omsk airport baggage check and on to the medevac aircraft in a backpack attached to his own luggage. “She didn’t tell us what was inside,” Jacoby said in an interview this week. “You could feel they were half-litre bottles, the hotel-room type, maybe five of them. The backpack was strapped to my bag and it went on board with me.”
When the aircraft reached Berlin, the backpack with the bottles was delivered to the Charité hospital along with Navalny. It had been unloaded from the aircraft and put on a German security lorry which took Navalny’s luggage to the Charité hospital. “I handed the bottles to the intensive care unit,” Jacoby says. “They were happy to get the bottles.” A German investigation followed later. “I got a phone call from the German security service asking how the bottles came to Germany,” Jacoby says. He also remembers an earlier concern about Pevchikh’s bottles at Omsk airport, before takeoff. “The [medevac] co-pilot was upset that we took on board someone’s luggage that wasn’t our own.”
In November 2001—twenty years ago — I gave a lecture in Moscow entitled: “Stealing the Truth – How to Read, and Not to Read, the Press In Russia”. The text has been lost. I am grateful to Ajay Goyal, the organiser of the Hellevig Lectures, for inviting me to bring the message back to life.
In the interval, Jon Hellevig lived his productive life in Russia. He and I both wrote for The Russia Journal and he set many examples of disciplined investigation leading to fearless publication of the truth. I salute him and his memory for what he achieved as an example to those of us who knew him and who live on.
In Soviet days, Russian reporters, editors and readers had shared an understanding of how to write and how to read the real message, the truth, between the lines of the printed text. This was a subtlety western readers have taken time to learn. The invention of the tweet struck with blunt force trauma; its unsubtlety came later. Then the US and the NATO allies opened the Ukraine front of their war against Russia in February 2014; the economic warfare sanctions followed the Ukrainian plot to down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 in July 2014; the war on the Syria front escalated from September 2015; and the two Novichok operations were launched — the British one involving Sergei Skripal in March 2018, and the German one involving Alexei Navalny in August 2020.
In wartime, with Russia and the truth about Russia under the gun, you will understand me when I say I shall not allow my remarks to give aid and comfort to the other side. What I have had to say about domestic and internal Russian politics and the features of the Russian oligarchy are in print for all to read. There will be more to say — though not here, not today.
If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil in his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski (lead image, left), the national security advisor for President Jimmy Carter (right) when the US plot to start the war against the Soviet Union on the Afghan front was hatched in 1979. “Now we can lure the Russians into the Afghan trap,” he wrote Carter in a secret note of February 1979. In July of that year he followed with the directive Carter signed in secret to supply arms to the mujahideen “to induce a Soviet military intervention”. In December 1979 Brzezinski told Carter: “we should not be too sanguine about Afghanistan becoming a Soviet Vietnam”. Later he used to boast that had been precisely his intention and also his crowning achievement.
Brzezinski’s lips are sealed now because he’s been dead for four years.
Carter is still alive. In 1979 he kept the evil on his mind secret behind the smile on his face. His lips are sealed now, since the retreat from Afghanistan began by the US Army, and after the rout last month in Kabul. The mainstream American press are not reporting they have asked Carter for comment, or that he has refused. Not even the alt-media investigators have pursued him.
But it’s already clear what Carter thinks. He believes he scored one of the wold’s great strategic victories; he is disgruntled that he has never received the public credit he thinks he deserves. In the words of one of the CIA men in charge of Afghanistan operations in 1979, Carter’s strategy was to wage the “fight [against] the Soviets that went on to win the final and decisive battle of the Cold War.”
A new book by Paul Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Gould, just published, opens the story of what Brzezinski and Carter really did to start the US war in Afghanistan, starting with the assassination of Adolph Dubs, the US Ambassador in Kabul on February 14, 1979; his killing with four pistol shots to head in a Kabul hotel room, the book concludes, was part of the White House plot.
“Some unnamed Americans claimed the Soviets wanted Dubs out of the way so they could set up for their invasion,” Fitzgerald and Gould report. They go on to name the Americans, one an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in Kabul, another a CIA agent. “But the Soviets got along famously with Dubs because he wasn’t an anti-Soviet Russophobe like Brzezinski. There was also plenty of evidence to show the Soviets didn’t want to invade. They went on record with the U.S. embassy throughout the summer of 1979 trying everything to avoid it. And besides, the rules of the game made ambassadors virtually untouchable. There was no upside to killing one, and a big downside.”
The assassination of Dubs, Fitzgerald and Gould argue, “led to the Soviet invasion nine months later….Who would kill an ambassador? Not a rival superpower trying to get the American Congress to sign a nuclear arms deal they’d desperately needed. And certainly not a third-world backwater desperate for U.S. aid and recognition. Only someone trying to provoke retribution. And who would want that retribution? Zbigniew Brzezinski. Brzezinski blamed the Russians, but then Brzezinski always blamed the Russians… If it hadn’t been for the Dubs murder there would never have been a Soviet invasion.”
The Ukraine war is splitting the communist parties of Europe between those taking the US side, and those on the Russian side.
In an unusual public criticism of the Greek Communist Party (KKE) and of smaller communist parties in Europe which have endorsed the Greek criticism of Russia for waging an “imperialist” war against the Ukraine, the Russian Communist Party (KPRF) has responded this week with a 3,300-word declaration: “The military conflict in Ukraine,” the party said, “cannot be described as an imperialist war, as our comrades would argue. It is essentially a national liberation war of the people of Donbass. From Russia’s point of view it is a struggle against an external threat to national security and against Fascism.”
By contrast, the Russian communists have not bothered to send advice, or air public criticism of the Cypriot communists and their party, the Progressive Party of Working People (AKEL). On March 2, AKEL issued a communiqué “condemn[ing] Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calls for an immediate ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian troops from Ukrainian territories….[and] stresses that the Russian Federation’s action in recognising the Donetsk and Luhansk regions constitutes a violation of the principle of the territorial integrity of states.”
To the KPRF in Moscow the Cypriots are below contempt; the Greeks are a fraction above it.
A Greek-Cypriot veteran of Cypriot politics and unaffiliated academic explains: “The Cypriot communists do not allow themselves to suffer for what they profess to believe. Actually, they are a misnomer. They are the American party of the left in Cyprus, just as [President Nikos] Anastasiades is the American party of the right.” As for the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras of Syriza – with 85 seats of the Greek parliament’s 300, the leading party of the opposition – the KKE (with 15 seats), and Yanis Varoufakis of MeRA25 (9 seats), the source adds: “The communists are irrelevant in Europe and in the US, except in the very narrow context of Greek party politics.”
The war plan of the US and the European allies is destroying the Russian market for traditional French perfumes, the profits of the French and American conglomerates which own the best-known brands, the bonuses of their managers, and the dividends of their shareholders. The odour of these losses is too strong for artificial fresheners.
Givaudan, the Swiss-based world leader in production and supply of fragrances, oils and other beauty product ingredients, has long regarded the Russian market as potentially its largest in Europe; it is one of the fastest growing contributors to Givaudan’s profit worldwide. In the recovery from the pandemic of Givaudan’s Fragrance and Beauty division – it accounts for almost half the company’s total sales — the group reported “excellent double-digit growth in 2021, demonstrating strong consumer demand for these product categories.” Until this year, Givaudan reveals in its latest financial report, the growth rate for Russian demand was double-digit – much faster than the 6.3% sales growth in Europe overall; faster growth than in Germany, Belgium and Spain.
Between February 2014, when the coup in Kiev started the US war against Russia, and last December, when the Russian non-aggression treaties with the US and NATO were rejected, Givaudan’s share price jumped three and a half times – from 1,380 Swiss francs to 4,792 francs; from a company with a market capitalisation of 12.7 billion francs ($12.7 billion) to a value of 44.2 billion francs ($44.2 billion). Since the fighting began in eastern Ukraine this year until now, Givaudan has lost 24% of that value – that’s $10 billion.
The largest of Givaudan’s shareholders is Bill Gates. With his 14%, plus the 10% controlled by Black Rock of New York and MFS of Boston, the US has effective control over the company.
Now, according to the US war sanctions, trade with Russia and the required payment systems have been closed down, alongside the bans on the importation of the leading European perfumes. So in place of the French perfumers, instead of Givaudan, the Russian industry is reorganizing for its future growth with its own perfume brands manufactured from raw materials produced in Crimea and other regions, or supplied by India and China. Givaudan, L’Oréal (Lancome, Yves Saint Laurent), Kering (Balenciaga, Gucci), LVMH (Dior, Guerlain, Givenchy), Chanel, Estée Lauder, Clarins – they have all cut off their noses to spite the Russian face.
By Nikolai Storozhenko, introduced and translated by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with
This week President Joseph Biden stopped at an Illinois farm to say he’s going to help the Ukraine ship 20 million tonnes of wheat and corn out of storage into export, thereby relieving grain shortages in the international markets and lowering bread prices around the world. Biden was trying to play a hand in which his cards have already been clipped. By Biden.
The first Washington-Kiev war plan for eastern Ukraine has already lost about 40% of the Ukrainian wheat fields, 50% of the barley, and all of the grain export ports. Their second war plan to hold the western region defence lines with mobile armour, tanks, and artillery now risks the loss of the corn and rapeseed crop as well as the export route for trucks to Romania and Moldova. What will be saved in western Ukraine will be unable to grow enough to feed its own people. They will be forced to import US wheat, as well as US guns and the money to pay for both.
Biden told his audience that on the Delaware farms he used to represent in the US Senate “there are more chickens than there are Americans.” Blaming the Russians is the other card Biden has left.
The problem with living in exile is the meaning of the word. If you’re in exile, you mean you are forever looking backwards, in geography as well as in time. You’re not only out of place; you’re out of time — yesterday’s man.
Ovid, the Roman poet who was sent into exile from Rome by Caesar Augustus, for offences neither Augustus nor Ovid revealed, never stopped looking back to Rome. His exile, as Ovid described it, was “a barbarous coast, inured to rapine/stalked ever by bloodshed, murder, war.” In such a place or state, he said, “writing a poem you can read to no one is like dancing in the dark.”
The word itself, exsilium in Roman law, was the sentence of loss of citizenship as an alternative to loss of life, capital punishment. It meant being compelled to live outside Rome at a location decided by the emperor. The penalty took several degrees of isolation and severity. In Ovid’s case, he was ordered by Augustus to be shipped to the northeastern limit of the Roman empire, the Black Sea town called Tomis; it is now Constanta, Romania. Ovid’s last books, Tristia (“Sorrows”) and Epistulae ex Ponto (“Black Sea Letters”), were written from this exile, which began when he was 50 years old, in 8 AD, and ended when he died in Tomis nine years year later, in 17 AD.
In my case I’ve been driven into exile more than once. The current one is lasting the longest. This is the one from Moscow, which began with my expulsion by the Foreign Ministry on September 28, 2010. The official sentence is Article 27(1) of the law No. 114-FZ — “necessary for the purposes of defence capability or security of the state, or public order, or protection of health of the population.” The reason, a foreign ministry official told an immigration service official when they didn’t know they were being overheard, was: “Helmer writes bad things about Russia.”
Antonio Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations (UN), who attempted last month to arrange the escape from Russian capture of Ukrainian soldiers and NATO commanders, knowing they had committed war crimes. He was asked to explain; he refuses.
Trevor Cadieu is a Canadian lieutenant-general who was appointed the chief of staff and head of the Canadian Armed Forces last August; was stopped in September; retired from the Army this past April, and went to the Ukraine, where he is in hiding. From whom he is hiding – Canadians or Russians – where he is hiding, and what he will say to explain are questions Cadieu isn’t answering, yet.
Antonio Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General, is refusing this week to answer questions on the role he played in the recent attempt by US, British, Canadian and other foreign combatants to escape the bunkers under the Azovstal plant, using the human shield of civilians trying to evacuate.
In Guterres’s meeting with President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on April 26 (lead image), Putin warned Guterres he had been “misled” in his efforts. “The simplest thing”, Putin told Guterres in the recorded part of their meeting, “for military personnel or members of the nationalist battalions is to release the civilians. It is a crime to keep civilians, if there are any there, as human shields.”
This war crime has been recognized since 1977 by the UN in Protocol 1 of the Geneva Convention. In US law for US soldiers and state officials, planning to employ or actually using human shields is a war crime to be prosecuted under 10 US Code Section 950t.
Instead, Guterres ignored the Kremlin warning and the war crime law, and authorized UN officials, together with Red Cross officials, to conceal what Guterres himself knew of the foreign military group trying to escape. Overnight from New York, Guterres has refused to say what he knew of the military escape operation, and what he had done to distinguish, or conceal the differences between the civilians and combatants in the evacuation plan over the weekend of April 30-May 1.May.
By Vlad Shlepchenko, introduced & translated by John Helmer, Moscow @bears_with
The more western politicians announce pledges of fresh weapons for the Ukraine, the more Russian military analysts explain what options their official sources are considering to destroy the arms before they reach the eastern front, and to neutralize Poland’s role as the NATO hub for resupply and reinforcement of the last-ditch holdout of western Ukraine.
“I would like to note,” Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, repeated yesterday, “that any transport of the North Atlantic Alliance that arrived on the territory of the country with weapons or material means for the needs of the Ukrainian armed forces is considered by us as a legitimate target for destruction”. He means the Ukraine border is the red line.
Here’s a story the New York Times has just missed.
US politicians and media pundits are promoting the targeting of “enablers” of Russian oligarchs who stash their money in offshore accounts. A Times article of March 11 highlighted Michael Matlin, CEO of Concord Management as such an “enabler.” But the newspaper missed serious corruption Matlin was involved in. Maybe that’s because Matlin cheated Russia, and also because the Matlin story exposes the William Browder/Sergei Magnitsky hoax aimed at Russia.
In 1939 a little known writer in Moscow named Sigizmund Khrzhizhanovsky published his idea that the Americans, then the Germans would convert human hatred into a new source of energy powering everything which had been dependent until then on coal, gas, and oil.
Called yellow coal, this invention originated with Professor Leker at Harvard University. It was applied, first to running municipal trams, then to army weapons, and finally to cheap electrification of everything from domestic homes and office buildings to factory production lines. In Russian leker means a quack doctor.
The Harvard professor’s idea was to concentrate the neuro-muscular energy people produce when they hate each other. Generated as bile (yellow), accumulated and concentrated into kinetic spite in machines called myeloabsorberators, Krzhizhanovsky called this globalization process the bilificationof society.
In imperial history there is nothing new in cases of dementia in rulers attracting homicidal psychopaths to replace them. It’s as natural as honey attracts bees.
When US President Woodrow Wilson was incapacitated by a stroke on October 19, 1919, he was partially paralysed and blinded, and was no longer able to feed himself, sign his name, or speak normally; he was not demented.
While his wife and the Navy officer who was his personal physician concealed his condition, there is no evidence that either Edith Wilson or Admiral Cary Grayson were themselves clinical cases of disability, delusion, or derangement. They were simply liars driven by the ambition to hold on to the power of the president’s office and deceive everyone who got in their way.
The White House is always full of people like that. The 25th Amendment to the US Constitution is meant to put a damper on their homicidal tendencies.
What is unusual, probably exceptional in the current case of President Joseph Biden, not to mention the history of the United States, is the extent of the president’s personal incapacitation; combined with the clinical evidence of psychopathology in his Secretary of State Antony Blinken; and the delusional condition of the rivals to replace Biden, including Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Like Rome during the first century AD, Washington is now in the ailing emperor-homicidal legionary phase. But give it another century or two, and the madness, bloodshed, and lies of the characters of the moment won’t matter quite as much as their images on display in the museums of their successors craving legitimacy, or of successor powers celebrating their superiority.
Exactly this has happened to the original Caesars, as a new book by Mary Beard, a Cambridge University professor of classics, explains. The biggest point of her book, she says, is “dynastic succession” – not only of the original Romans but of those modern rulers who acquired the Roman portraits in marble and later copies in paint, and the copies of those copies, with the idea of communicating “the idea of the direct transfer of power from ancient Romans to Franks and on to later German rulers.”
In the case she narrates of the most famous English owner of a series of the “Twelve Caesars”, King Charles I — instigator of the civil war of 1642-51 and the loser of both the war and his head – the display of his Caesars was intended to demonstrate the king’s self-serving “missing link” between his one-man rule and the ancient Romans who murdered their way to rule, and then apotheosized into immortal gods in what they hoped would be a natural death on a comfortable bed.
With the American and Russian successions due to take place in Washington and Moscow in two years’ time, Beard’s “Twelve Caesars, Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern”, is just the ticket from now to then.